CAN HAPPEN AGAIN
AND SOONER THAN YOU THINK
William A. Shields
1997 I predicted, in a printed newsletter aimed at air traffic
controllers, that a major aviation disaster would occur
in the New York City area, most likely at LaGuardia airport,
but perhaps at Newark or Kennedy airports. Stick a dart
in the map at a point central to these three airports and
you have located Ground Zero, the former World Trade Center,
New York City.
the style and type of event that occurred on 9-11 was one
that few if any could have foreseen. Save for one vigilant
FBI agent, who warned that Muslims might be planning to
attack the WTC with hijacked airplanes, no one saw it coming.
If it were in my power, I would promote that lone star to
Attorney General, and fire every other FBI employee from
the director on down to the lowliest bean counter and shoe
As of this writing, to the best of my knowledge, not one
government employee in any agency at any level has been
held accountable for the abject failure of government that
resulted in such a shocking loss of human life. That is
to say not one firing, not one suspension, no letters of
reprimand, nor a verbal reprimand of any kind has been awarded
to a government employee. No employee of the FAA, DOT, FBI,
NSA, CIA or any other agency has been held accountable for
the agency flacks that read this indictment will probably
say, if they say anything at all, that I donít know what
I donít know. They will tell us that they do not publicize
their employeeís personnel records, in accordance with law
including the Privacy Act, etc. Therefore, no one knows,
least of all that Shields fellow, who or how many were disciplined
is what I like best about writing an opinion column. I get
to make blanket indictments, ask questions of un-named government
desk jockeys or politicians and put the answers in their
mouths. And there is nothing they can do about it. Itís
like kicking liberals in the balls Ė itís good work if you
can get it. Now back to the subject.)
government agencies are not tight lipped out of concern
for the privacy of their employees. Their policy of silence
affords them a modicum of plausible deniability. (A phrase
I first heard connected to the Warren Report) The agencies
responsible for any newsworthy failure of the public trust,
like Waco, or Ruby Ridge, can simply claim that they canít
speak about internal personnel actions, which means they
can take NO action at all, and maintain complete, iron clad,
bulletproof non-accountability. Then they can talk about
how budget deprived they are, demanding more money for unsatisfactory
performance, literally taking the taxpayerís money and beating
him over the head with it.
now you might say that things are different since 9-11.
Thereís more security at the airports, more and better screeners.
Searches are more thorough and more items such as nail files
are prohibited. Iím here to tell you itís all window dressing.
They donít care if they catch any prohibited items, and
they donít really care to thwart any potential hijacker(s).
What they care about is that the public sees them doing
something, and that the public believes that the system
is safe. Itís all show and no go.
Delta Airlines flight attendants recently told me that nothing
of any substance has changed in the safety and security
categories, and that as far as they could tell, another
9-11 could occur tomorrow. Security doors at airport
terminals are routinely compromised, and the alarms go unanswered.
Let me repeat that in case it didnít sink in the first time.
Audible alarms are sounding in airport terminal
buildings and they are being ignored!
significant change is that there may be guns in a few cockpits
now. This is a giant leap in the right direction. But whatís
good for the cockpit is good for the cabin. Let
the people keep and bear arms when they travel
aboard aircraft. Attempted hijackings and suicide would
then be synonymous terms.
donít fly and I urge others to stop flying or at least limit
their flights to those that are absolutely necessary. I
know that after 9-11, pundits like Bill OíReilly were urging
Americans to fly, and when the stock market was tanking,
he was telling us to buy stocks. If we follow Mr. OíReillyís
curious brand of logic, it then becomes prudent for us to
jump in the water after a shark rips off someoneís arm.
After all, weíre Americans! We donít let sharks intimidate
donít refrain from flying out of intimidation. I do so because
I know too much. I know about the incompetent housewives
masquerading as air traffic controllers, and I know about
the small cadre of overworked, under-appreciated competent
types who are forced to work three positions at once Ėtheir
own and those of the affirmative action types on their left
and right. That is, those affirmative action types that
canít be moved into a management position where they canít
bend any aluminum, but they can force their favorite agenda
(multiculturalism and a war on merit) on everyone else.
is a well-known line from Eugene OíNeillís "A
Moon For The Misbegotten": "There
is no present or future Ė only the past, happening over
and over again- now."
it is with our federal "safety" agencies, especially
the FAA. So donít ask if it will happen again. Itís happening
again right now
A. Shields is a USA Daily columnist. He has
also been a contributor to the American Reformation Project
as well as Ether Zone. Willie is a "Once and Always"
U.S. Marine with 19 years combined experience as a military
and civilian air traffic controller. The former chairman
of the Delaware Buchanan/Reform Party, and a past president
of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, EWR,
he has held positions in the rail, aviation and marine transportation
industries. Mr. Shields owns and operates a small business
in Wilmington, Delaware. He is a self taught expert on USMC
history and Doo-Wop music of the fifties and early sixties.
A, Shields can be reached at:
in the May 22, 2003 issue of Etherzone.com.
Copyright © 1997 - 2003 Ether Zone.